Primary challenges (ages 5-11)

Typically completed by 5-11 year olds, CREST Star and SuperStar challenges relate to everyday experiences. Children complete eight activities to gain a CREST Award, with each activity taking between 45 minutes and one hour to complete.

The activities are designed to be easy-to-run and low-cost. You don’t need to be a teacher, have a science background or have access to specialist equipment to run them. The packs contain helpful hints and tips for you to use, explaining the scientific themes and offering guidance on conversation topics for your children.

There are more CREST approved resources that have been developed by our partners and providers specific to your region.

To browse the packs, click the buttons below or scroll down.

5 years ago

All Star challenges

  • Text
  • Cosmic
  • Materials
  • Association
  • Registered
  • Stella
  • Plants
  • Encourage
  • Astro
  • Timers
  • Rainbow


SCRAP YARD SCRAPS Scrap Yard Scraps Organiser’s Card SCRAP YARD SCRAPS About the activity This activity is designed to help children think about which materials are good insulators. Cosmic and Gem have gone to the scrap yard with Aunt Stella. They see a mouse scurrying away with a big piece of sponge in its mouth. It has lots of other scraps of materials hidden away. It might be making a nest. They wonder if the scraps will keep the mouse warm. Through this activity you will support your group to: • Think about which materials might be best for keeping a mouse warm • Test different materials and observe how well they keep their ‘mouse’ warm • Record their results and share them with the group Kit list • Warm potatoes or small plastic screw-top drinks bottles filled with warm water – to make the ‘mice’ • Selection of materials such as fabric, sponge, bubble wrap, wool, foil, plastic and old newspaper – large enough to wrap round the ‘mice’. • Additional materials e.g. cotton wool, leather, carpet (optional) • Thermometers – ‘alcohol’ filled, digital or other safety thermometers • Poster–making materials (optional) What to do 1. Follow the instructions on the ACTIVITY CARD. Make sure you give children time to talk about their ideas.. 2. Read the story. Get the children to talk to a buddy about the ideas in the questions and the opinions of Cosmic, Gem and Aunt Stella 3. The children will need a selection of different pieces of fabric and other materials to test as in the Kit list.. 5. Encourage them to think about fair testing e.g. use the same amount of material 6. There are follow up activities for children who have finished or want to do more investigating at home and earn a bonus sticker. The children can draw a picture of the mouse in its nest – the material could be stuck onto the picture. 4. Talk through how they might find out how well the materials keep things warm. Encourage them to think of their own ideas.

Things to think about Children may need help with measuring the temperature. Thermometers can be stuck in holes in the potatoes or can be attached by elastic bands before the potatoes are wrapped. You could let them make judgements about change in temperature by feeling the bottle or potatoes, rather than using a thermometer. Materials that trap air are good at keeping things warm. When things go colder, it is because heat (thermal energy) has escaped. To keep things warm you need to reduce how quickly this happens. Heat cannot travel easily through air. So the trapped air inside bubble wrap, wool, sponge or layers of material, should help to keep the mouse warm. Single pieces of paper or plastic are not usually as good since one layer does not trap very much air. Foil is not going to be very good for keeping the mouse warm. Metal is a good thermal conductor. If you touch bubble wrap and foil wrapped round identical hot potatoes, the foil will feel warmer first. Take it further P YARD SCRAPS Keywords SCRAP YARD SCRAPS The children might want to consider other relevant properties of materials. For example, should it be soft or waterproof? • Temperature • Insulation • Materials Watch out! The potatoes or water should be at a temperature which is safe to handle. Do not use thermometers filled with mercury (mercury is toxic). Take care with broken glass thermometers. Mop up water spills to avoid slippery floors. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236

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Star level

Collections of one hour challenges recommended for children aged 5-7 years that relate to children’s everyday experiences. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the CREST Star page.

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SuperStar level

Collections of one hour challenges recommended for children aged 7-11 years that realate to broader situations that children are likely to have come across. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the CREST SuperStar page.

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